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Gearbox Now Owns the Homeworld Franchise [UPDATED: More THQ Sales Announced]

The Texas-based developer was the highest bidder for the space-set real-time strategy series. And you'll never guess who picked up Darksiders.

UPDATE: More intellectual property sale news is coming out of the THQ auction. THQ has announced that Nordic Games Publishing, a little-known Austrian Swedish publisher, has taken control of the bulk of the available auction lot, including Red Faction, MX vs. ATV, Destroy All Humans!, and Darksiders, which was the subject of much discussion following its non-inclusion in the first round of bidding. In total, Nordic paid $4.9 million for its bids.

We also now know that Gearbox paid $1.35 million for its purchase of the Homeworld franchise (which is detailed in the story below), and that 505 Games snuck in to grab the Drawn to Life series for $300,000. All these bids will presumably be finalized when the bankruptcy court reconvenes on May 13.

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Homeworld is headed to Gearbox, provided the court approves the sale next month.

I don't think anyone saw this one coming.

Gearbox Software, the development studio behind the Borderlands series, has taken control of the Homeworld franchise. The news comes in a statement from the company, where it states that Gearbox placed the highest bid in the latest auction featuring now defunct publisher THQ's former intellectual properties.

The high bid gives Gearbox control of both of the previous games in the Homeworld franchise, as well as full rights to make new games in the series. All of this is provided the court approves the sale next month, when it is scheduled to review all the high bids.

The Homeworld games were space-faring real-time strategy games developed by Relic Entertainment, which was itself bought by Sega in the first round of THQ property auctions. According to the statement, Gearbox's first priority with the series is "to preserve and assemble the purest form of the original acclaimed and beloved games, Homeworld and Homeworld 2, with the intent of making them accessible on today's leading digital platforms."

As for new entries in the series, the statement goes on to suggest that fans take to Gearbox's forums to suggest what they'd like to see, as well as to "please try to get our attention if you have capability and interest to join the effort in developing or enabling Homeworld's future."

Alex Navarro on Google+
232 Comments
Edited by NeoCalypso

Bleh, Gearbox was WAAAY too hit or miss for this to be appealing news to me.

Posted by Pixeldemon

Strikes me as a calculated PR move to win back goodwill after the Aliens:CM mess.

I wonder what they paid, and how many units they'll have to sell on GOG to break even.

Edited by The_Laughing_Man

<p>Just give everything to platinum games. In fact just give them Star Wars 1313</p>

Posted by Climpa

This is maybe litterally the worst possible outcome.

Edited by Conformunist

How are they gonna cram all those outdated memes into a space-rts?

Posted by Rahvar

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

Posted by Alecthegamer

R.I.P Homeworld

Edited by mikbal

FPS Homeworld.

Update: Kart Racing Darksiders

Edited by HaltIamReptar

Who could possibly be excited to hear this?

Posted by Hailinel

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The Brothers in Arms series has generally reviewed well, to my knowledge, even if it hasn't sold blockbuster amounts.

Online
Edited by Oldirtybearon

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

sure. Blue Shift, Opposing Force, Brothers in Arms, they've made decent to good games before Borderlands. The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

Posted by Ghostin

Splooge...

Why couldn't Sega have picked this up alongside Relic?

Posted by LTSmash

Could not be better news. They have an amazing track record reviving defunct gaming franchises.

Posted by Hailinel

@ghostin said:

Splooge...

Why couldn't Sega have picked this up alongside Relic?

They probably didn't see much profit potential in it. Homeworld as a series has been dormant for years.

Online
Posted by Landon

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

Posted by Krakn3Dfx

"pending court approval"

Why do I picture the court from the end of the The Prisoner, with a monkey in an astronaut suit?

Posted by Warchief

This news makes me very sad.

Posted by Oldirtybearon

@landon said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

They didn't develop it. Even when they bought the IP and tried to make Forever functional, it was Triptych Games that cobbled it together and made something out of the whole mess.

Posted by chilibean_3

sadtrombone.mp3

Posted by BlastProcessing

@landon said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

Can't blame them for Duke, all they did was polish a turd.

Edited by Funkydupe

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.... -inhale- ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Edited by NoCookiesForYou

I am both excited and terrified at the same time.

Posted by benu302000

So long, Homeworld.

Posted by Veektarius

Sometimes, we gamers forget that just because a studio makes its name with a game based around lowest common denominator humor doesn't mean that there are no creative forces in that studio that can create something serious. That said, they seem to lack any sort of strategy chops on their CV whatsoever.

Posted by HatKing

Who could possibly be excited to hear this?

At least they'll probably do something with it? I'm trying to be positive here, but I think this is better than the alternative; that being, the franchise going away forever. I'm not the biggest Gearbox fan, in fact, sometimes I feel like I might be their biggest opponent (poor word choice). I outright disliked Borderlands 2, and I only mildly appreciated the original. I'm too much a coward, and a fan of the films, to see what they did with Colonial Marines. And, well, the little I've played of the Brothers In Arms games never impressed me enough to garner my full interest. Not even going to bother mentioning Duke Nukem, I'll just tell myself they had barely anything to do with that game - despite the way Pitchford defends it. Having said that, I don't think they're a bad studio. Well, I think they have the potential to be more than what they are, anyway. Point is, I'm willing to give this a shot. It (probably?) won't be a first person shooter, so they're already out of their comfort zone. And they won't want to drop the ball again, after having their names on two pretty fucked up entries in two separate and somewhat loved franchises (Aliens and Duke Nukem - though I've always disliked Duke Nukem).

Or, they'll just shit out a sloppy, generic 'reboot' of the series in FPS form - The Homeworld. Oh shit. That's probably what's going to happen, huh?

Edited by Landon

@landon said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

They didn't develop it. Even when they bought the IP and tried to make Forever functional, it was Triptych Games that cobbled it together and made something out of the whole mess.

Does that even matter? They will forever be known as the company that finally put out Duke Nukem, only to be met with scathing reviews.

Posted by Funkydupe

Gearbox can say whatever they want, they stand accountable for their actions when they sign the dotted line and put the games out for us to buy. They can't just hide behind the "we didn't start it, they did!" excuse forever when EVERYTHING they touch turn to fucking SHIT AND ASS.

Posted by Ubersmake

Good, now *someone* can get this series back up on Steam/GOG/everything else. Seriously, I don't have my discs anymore, and I don't even know if Homeworld 2 will run on Windows 7 x64 without any fuss.

Edited by rebgav

If we're talking 'Gearbox the videogame developer,' this is kind of cool news. I would be interested to see what they do with the property.

If this actually means Homeworld is in the hands of 'Gearbox the avante-garde assemblage artiste' then... hey, Borderlands 3 will probably still be pretty awesome.

Posted by Fistfulofmetal

I'm glad such a trustworthy company with impeccable integrity ended up with the IP.

Posted by Sporkbane

I can't say this is great news. AFAIK, Gearbox doesn't have great RTS experience, and I certainly have no interest in playing a homeworld FPS.

Not to mention, the overall quality of Gearbox games isn't exactly stellar. Borderlands 1 and 2 are both serviceable, but not great games, and Aliens and Duke Nukem don't exactly instill much confidence.

Here's to hoping they don't ruin a franchise that is loved by all.

Posted by Murdoc_
Posted by Dezztroy

This is pretty terrible news. Atleast Homeworld 2 still has extensive modding being done to it.

I can't wait for the terrible reviews and Randy having another breakdown on Twitter.

Posted by beeftothetaco

"with the intent of making them accessible on today's leading digital platforms."

RIP

Edited by Funkydupe

If they mess this up I will go to war. WAR.

Posted by kalmis

Gearbox? Not sure about that.

Posted by NoelVeiga

Cool, we'll get digital re-releases of Homeworld, which is a good thing.

Also, I am AMAZED by how quickly Gearbox has gone from do-no-wrong to "they suck". Guys, they just put out Borderlands 2. They are still making more Borderlands 2. You really need to be more selective with the hate-train, people are just jumping on board, not paying the ticket.

Edited by Scroll

It almost feels like Gearbox is personally trying to crush my dreams with the weight of shitty games.

Posted by Pixeldemon

@landon said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

Can't blame them for Duke, all they did was polish a turd.

They chose to put their name on it and sell it. They convinced a lot of people to buy it who would not have done so otherwise. So yeah, you can blame them.

I instantly disliked Gearbox when they put out the PC version of Borderlands, which was an extremely crappy port of a mediocre game. Now they are one of the most extreme DLC peddlers in the industry, and haven't done anything to inspire customer goodwill.

Posted by Winternet
@climpa said:

This is maybe litterally the worst possible outcome.

What if Zynga bought Homeworld and it became a facebook Farmville-like game? I'm pretty sure that going to Gearbox is very far from the "worst possible outcome" scenario.

Posted by SasquatchRuby

that's the one we've been waiting for - someone now has to explain to me if Gearbox is good or bad for this franchise - Homeworld outside of Relic????

Posted by masterpaperlink

they better hire the best dam spaceship artists in the industry

Posted by Funkydupe

@pixeldemon: I think Borderlands 2 plays like CRAP on the PC as well. I have no idea why some people like that game.

Posted by Stimpack

I can't say this is the best news in the world, but it's not like I was really invested in the Homeworld universe anyway. I never honestly thought that anything would be done with Homeworld again anyway.

Posted by dudeglove

@climpa said:

This is maybe litterally the worst possible outcome.

Could have been worse; could have been Square Enix.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

@haltiamreptar: I don't know why but I laughed forever reading that. *sigh* poor, poor gearbox...

Edited by Dagbiker

The high bid gives Gearbox control of both of the previous games in the Homeworld franchise

I see @alex is one of those people who doesn't think think Homeworld: Cataclysm was cannon.

Posted by MikeJFlick

I really wonder why Sega didn't nab it, they obviously are trying to broaden their road in the PC market.

Edited by Funkydupe

@mikejflick: Do they have the cash to buy stuff left and right? I thought Sega wasn't doing too good, am I wrong?

Posted by SomeJerk

After Opposing Forces, Gearbox have gone to shit more and more. I remember FPS games from the 90's so I don't rank the Borderlands games high at all. This is better than EA or Activision getting it but wow do not expect anything besides moneyhatted reviewers making an 80+ metacritic score from this.

For that matter, I would say this right up in Randy's face in person if I was asked to tell him my personal opinion of this. I would also offer to work for Gearbox for a few months to clear things up based on feedback from the kind of people who aren't the kind who played Borderlands 1 religiously up until Borderlands 2 and then went hardcore 5/5 into Borderlands 2, but instead from gamers who want good games.

AND I'M GOING TO PULL A KNIFE IF SOMEONE TALKS SHIT ABOUT OPPOSING FORCES